CoMentis could make over $780 million through this deal, which covers the beta-secretase inhibitor pipeline.

Astellas Pharma entered a $780 million deal for CoMentis’ beta-secretase inhibitor program, which is largely in the preclinical phase. CoMentis will initially get $80 million upfront and an equity investment of $20 million.

The transaction, which includes a Phase I compound to treat Alzheimer’s disease, also covers a research collaboration to develop additional beta-secretase inhibitors.

Besides the $660 million that CoMentis will receive in development milestones, the firm may also be paid performance-based commercialization fees. Additionally, CoMentis has the right to development milestones for beta-secretase inhibitors discovered under the terms of the research partnership.

Astellas will fund global development until Phase III, at which time CoMentis will share the expenses. Astellas has exclusive, worldwide commercialization rights, while CoMentis retains the right to copromote in the U.S. where profit will be shared. CoMentis will receive royalties on sales outside the U.S.

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